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Ward off the winter blues with light and leaves!

As we head into the darkest days of the year and with it, the threat of ‘winter blues’ or the more serious Seasonal Affective Disorder, Ambius, the world leader in enhancing workplaces through planting, scenting and artwork is urging businesses to boost employee immunity and morale through simple changes to the workplace. The tips from Ambius come as a new study from the European Depression Association has found that 58% of people in Britain who suffer from depression will take time off work.

Kenneth Freeman, International Technical Director said: “This winter more than most, businesses need to keep morale up and productivity healthy against the backdrop of a struggling economy, stagnant wage inflation and an increased cost of living. With daylight hours shrinking and workers arriving and leaving work in darkness, it’s easy to see why depression can be so rife in the winter months.

“However, clinical studies have found that combining full-spectrum light which replicates natural daylight with plants can have a positive impact on well-being and productivity. In one study in Norway*, when planting and full spectrum lighting was introduced there was a 25% reduction in health complaints – particularly for those suffering fatigue, feeling heavy-headed, headache, dry, sore throat and skin complaints.

“We know that plants in the workplace have multiple benefits. They can reduce depression, anxiety and overall stress. Buildings are quieter and more relaxed with plants in them, at the same time, more stimulating and interesting. It’s a basic human need to be close to nature and in the dark and cold winter months bringing nature inside can have huge benefits. And it doesn’t just have to be plants – pictures and natural views from a window can have an impact on well-being.

“Ambius’ own research* has found that simply by allowing staff to engage with a workspace enriched with planting and artwork, employers can see a boost in productivity by up to 17% with effects on wellbeing increasing by similar amounts. Give them some say over their environment and productivity improves by up to 32%.”

Ambius’ Top Tips for Warding off the Winter Blues

1. Light and leaf
Combine full spectrum lighting with plants to maximise the benefits of both elements
2. Create the feel of nature indoors
Don’t just add a few plants here and there, mix sizes and shapes, allowing a degree of randomness and informality as you would see in nature
3. Connect with the outside
Make use of mirrors near windows to reflect more of the outdoor view into the building. Failing that, endeavour to position desks so that employees have a view of the outside
4. Use of natural (and local) materials
Our instincts are to surround ourselves with more natural products when given the chance. Where you can, have natural materials in the office – plant containers made from wood or stone for example
5. Lean is mean
Boost the comfort factor by giving staff control over their work environment – research has showed that staff with higher comfort levels are more productive at work and less likely to take time off work with illness.
6. Inside out
Encourage healthy eating. Plenty of fruit and veg are important to keep the immune system strong allowing the body to fight off viral infections.
7. The stuff of life
Provide a water dispenser for employers, valuable all year. A great first defence against cold, fluids flush out harmful impurities and toxins in our bodies
8. Art
Natural scenes can enhance the sterile environs or many modern buildings – if you have the space go for large-scale or even a mural
9. Take a break
Encourage a lunchtime walk – Ambius research shows that1 in 5 (22%) workers spend less than 20 minutes a day out-of-doors, even less during the winter. Even five minutes a day in a park or garden will make you feel better.
10. A breath of fresh air
Remember that plants can refresh the air by removing CO2 that builds up during the day. This can even reduce the loads on air-conditioning systems and make it easier to balance heating, ventilation and cooling in modern, draft-free buildings.
Ends

www.ambius.co.uk   0800 085 8744
*Tove Fjeld Dr sci Fjeld Consulting AS, Nordbyvn 38 1406 Ski, Norway and Charite Bonnevie,
Specialist in Occupational Medicine, Nordea Bankm, Oslo, Norway

** Prism (Psychological Research into Identity and Space Management) is a research-based consultancy based at the University of Exeter in the southwest of England, co funded by Ambius. With over 25 years commercial experience, most of it in the field of office design, Craig Knight has now applied his knowledge to academic research. Under the supervision of world-renowned psychologist, Professor Alex Haslam, Craig’s published PhD thesis (The Psychology of Office Space: Determinants of Social Identity, Well-being and Productivity) has already been acclaimed. Ongoing research within Prism is aimed at continually refining the workplace model and offering a research-backed consultancy service to companies around the world.

 

 

 

To have your industry news published in the pages of FMJ’s news supplement, Month in FM, and here online on fmjdata.com, please send your news and image to Marian Negoita Marian.Negoita@diamond-media.co.uk

The view or information contained within these unedited press releases, are that of the company producing it and not necessary the views of DMG.

 

 

 

 

To have your industry news published in the pages of FMJ’s news supplement, Month in FM, and here online on fmjdata.com, please send your news and image to Marian Negoita Marian.Negoita@diamond-media.co.uk

The view or information contained within these unedited press releases, are that of the company producing it and not necessary the views of DMG.

 

 

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